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Ask Allied: How do I plan an international move?

by Jackie Heath on Oct 10, 2019
Making an international move can be overwhelming if you don't properly plan. We have some tips to help take some of the stress out moving to your new oversees home.
How to plan for an international move

Moving is never easy, but moving abroad always makes things exponentially more difficult, and the farther away your new home country is from where you currently live, the bigger the hurdles you’ll face when moving day comes. So we took a look at the top three most common challenges to moving overseas and how you can handle them. Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Be Realistic About How Much Stuff You Own

    You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to move, and that goes double for moving overseas. Since you’ll be shipping most of your belongings, instead of loading up a truck, most of the cost of taking your belongings with you will depend on their weight, rather than a flat fee for a moving truck. That means, if you have a sizeable book collection you’ll probably want to get rid of most of that collection and avoid paying to have all those heavy books shipped to your new home.

    If you’re moving for a job, your employer might cover some of your moving costs, but even then you should be sure to keep it reasonable. Most employers have a limit as to how much they’ll pay in relocation costs, so keep that in mind when packing. In general, it’s a good idea to have a yard sale to get rid of as much of your stuff as you can bear to part with, especially the larger and heavier items. Anything you can’t sell and can’t take with you should either go into storage or be donated.

  2. Do You Know Where You’ll Be Living?

    Unless you’ve had a chance to visit your new hometown prior to the move, chances are you either don’t know where you’ll be living yet, or you do know where you’ll be living, but you haven’t had a chance to see it in person yet. Either way, it’s best to pack light and plan on buying things like furniture after you’ve arrived and had a chance to see your new home for yourself. If you can manage to rent or buy a place that comes pre-furnished, that would be ideal.

  3. How to Pack
    When moving locally, you can just pack up your car and/or a moving truck, drive it to your new home, and unpack everything at once, but that’s unlikely to be the case when you’re moving internationally. You’ll probably have to ship most of your belongings and will only be able to bring a suitcase or two with you, so be sure all your essentials are packed with you (change of clothes, hygiene products, medications, etc.) so you don’t have to worry about waiting for things you need right away once you arrive in your new home.

You should also check the weather of your new hometown before leaving. If it’s going to be significantly warmer or colder than where you are now, you’ll need to pack accordingly. Wear to the airport whatever makes sense for your current weather conditions, but make sure your suitcase is packed with clothes that are suitable for the weather you’ll encounter when you land.

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